By David Shannon
Scholastic, 32 pages, $17.99
Lice – no one likes to admit they’ve had to deal with the nasty little critters. But if you’ve ever shared a hairbrush or clothing with someone, you have been at risk. The reality is that most school-aged children get lice…more than 20 million kids a year! For a problem that isn’t discussed, that’s a lot of itchy heads! In his new children’s book Bugs in My Hair!, award-winning, bestselling author and artist David Shannon draws on his own family’s experiences with the critters. The result is a picture book starring – you guessed it – LICE! If you are already a fan of Shannon’s famous David series, No, David, you know that his hilarious illustrations are just as entertaining as the story. Lice are the stars of this book as a boy and his mom try to get rid of the little nasties.
First, his mom does load after load of laundry as a life-size lice lounges on the sofa eating popcorn and watching TV. Then mom treats her son’s hair with a stinky rinse that lice hate and combs through it with a nit comb. Sound familiar, parents? Along with the caption “The Party’s Over, Little Nasties!” is an illustration from a lice’s point of view. Mom’s huge fingers hold the nit comb and the lice and their eggs are ripped from noodle-sized strands of hair.
In addition to presenting a funny story and fabulous artwork, Shannon addresses the real feelings kids experience when they get head lice. The young boy worries that when his classmates find out, he won’t have any friends. But guess what? Almost every student in his class has lice too! They just don’t openly talk about it. That is the beautiful things about this book – it gets everyone talking. Kids are entertained and educated and parents, teachers and librarians gain an invaluable resource. So if you find yourself with an itchy head in the future, don’t be embarrassed. You are not alone!
Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin